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The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 16 July 1955 (USA)
The story of how the British attacked German dams in WWII by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

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Writers:

(book), (based on Wing Comdr. Gibson's own account in "Enemy Coast Ahead") (as Wing Comdr. Gibson) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mrs. Wallis
...
...
Ernest Clark ...
...
...
Stanley Van Beers ...
Sir David Pye, C.B., F.R.S.
Colin Tapley ...
Doctor W. H. Glanville, C.B., C.B.E.
Frederick Leister ...
Committee Member
Eric Messiter ...
Committee Member
Laidman Browne ...
Committee Member
...
Official, National Physical Laboratory
Hugh Manning ...
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Storyline

The British are desperate to shorten the length of WW2 and propose a daring raid to smash Germany's industrial heart. At first the objective looks impossible until a British scientist invents an ingenious weapon capable of destroying the planned target. Written by Dave Jenkins <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The dramatic true-life story of the men who broke the Nazis' back! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dambusters  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film debut of Patrick McGoohan. See more »

Goofs

In two shots of flights of three Lancasters taking off on the mission, each has a gap in the ventral fuselage where the bomb should be. Later shots of the bombers in flight have the weapon showing as a semicircular bulge in the same place - the silhouette of the bomb was presumably added in post-production, with the take-off sequence forgotten about. See more »

Quotes

Bomber Harris: [Harris arrives in the Operations Room to follow the progress of the attack. Officers in the room come to attention and salute] Carry on.
[to Cochrane]
Bomber Harris: Well, Cocky, how's it going?
Air Vice-Marshal Cochrane: All right so far, sir. The first wave's about twenty miles from the Dutch coast. Enemy radar has probably picked them up by now
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dam Busters
March
by Eric Coates
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Some Dam fine flying
18 September 2004 | by (Cheshire, England) – See all my reviews

Just like to respond to Howard Morley's comments. The dam's raids were urgently needed, and it took only a few months to form 617, train them and attack the dams. Quite a feat I'm sure you'll agree. The film nicely conveys the struggles and the friendships of the crews, put together from the best of the Commonwealth fliers. Even if the screenplay does take some rather large liberties with the story.

As to Guy, he was killed in 1944 on his way back from acting as Master Bomber on a raid over Germany. His Mosquito crashed in Holland, killing him and his navigator. To this day there are no explanations for the crash. Guy should not have been flying at all, but he was so desperate to get back in the air that Bomber Harris gave in and let him. A tragedy. Of the crew of G-George (Guy's ship on the raid) none of them survived the war. The crew crashed whilst trying to bomb the Dortmund-Ems canal later in 1943.

The film is a fitting tribute to the raid, and the massive losses of 617. Of the 19 ships to go out, 11 came back. Of the 77 crew lost on the raid, only 1 survived. This is why the dams were not bombed again. And the problem with the Sorpe was that it was an earth damn, the bombs were not very effective as with the Eder and Moehne.

How do I know all this? My Great-grandmother was a Gibson.

Watch the film and marvel.


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